BA in Psychology/MA in Art Therapy

A student discusses art works on the wall behind her as fellow students look on

The combined BA in Psychological and Brain Sciences and MA in Art Therapy degree is ideal for students who wish to combine their interest in psychology with a desire to help people and communities through art therapy. Program participants complete 12 graduate credits as part of their GW undergraduate program, thereby completing both degrees on an accelerated schedule.

Art therapy combines the expressive use of drawing, painting and sculpture with psychological concepts that may aid in healing the mind and body. The MA in Art Therapy includes an internship component in a psychiatric, educational or community-based settings. Founded in 1971, GW's Art Therapy Graduate Program is one of the first to receive approval from the American Art Therapy Association.


How to Apply

Students must apply to the graduate portion of the program no later than the spring term of their junior year at GW, and they must have completed 75 undergraduate credits as well as all of their prerequisites at the time of application. Students interested in the dual degree program should confer with their advisor early in their junior year.

Course Requirements

All requirements for both the Bachelor of Arts in Psychological and Brain Sciences and the Master of Arts in Art Therapy degrees must be fulfilled. 

BA in Psychological and Brain Sciences 

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Undergraduate Programs.

Program-specific curriculum:

PSYC 1001General Psychology
PSYC 2101Research Methods in Psychology
STAT 1053Introduction to Statistics in Social Science (or equivalent)
Two survey courses (6 credits) selected from the following:
PSYC 2011Abnormal Psychology
or PSYC 2011W Abnormal Psychology
PSYC 2012Social Psychology
PSYC 2013Developmental Psychology
One survey course (3 credits) selected from the following:
PSYC 2014Cognitive Psychology
PSYC 2015Biological Psychology
One course (3 credits) selected from the following:
PSYC 3112Psychology of Adolescence
PSYC 3115Developmental Psychopathology
PSYC 3125Cross-Cultural Psychology
PSYC 3126Multicultural Psychology
or PSYC 3126W Multicultural Psychology
PSYC 3128Health Psychology
PSYC 3132Social and Personality Development
PSYC 3170Clinical Psychology
PSYC 3173Community Psychology
One course (3 credits) selected from the following:
PSYC 3118Neuropsychology
PSYC 3119Cognitive Science in the District
PSYC 3120Neuroscience of Consciousness
PSYC 3121Memory and Cognition
PSYC 3122The Cognitive Neuroscience
PSYC 3124Visual Perception
One advanced research lab course (4 credits) selected from the following:
PSYC 4106WResearch Lab in Sensation and Perception
or PSYC 4107W Research Lab in Cognitive Neuroscience
PSYC 4201WResearch Lab in Clinical/Community Psychology
or PSYC 4202W Research Lab in Applied Social Psychology
or PSYC 4203W Research Lab in Developmental Psychology
Four additional psychology (PSYC) courses (12 credits) numbered 2000 or above. Only 3 credits in PSYC 3591 or PSYC 4591 may be applied toward the major.

Master of Arts in the Field of Art Therapy

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate Programs.

61 credits including 900 internship hours.

ARTH 6205History and Theory of Art Therapy
ARTH 6207Human Development and Art Therapy I: Child and Adolescent
ARTH 6208Human Development and Art Therapy II: Adults and Senior Adults
ARTH 6210Counseling/Art Therapy Process
ARTH 6211Process of Counseling and Art Therapy: Theory
ARTH 6212Creativity, Symbolism, and Metaphor
ARTH 6221Studio/Technique of Art Therapy
ARTH 6233Marital and Family Art Therapy/Counseling
ARTH 6234Group Process
ARTH 6235Social and Cultural Diversity
ARTH 6241Assessment Procedures
ARTH 6242Psychopathology: Art and Diagnosis
ARTH 6243Substance Abuse and Addictions
ARTH 6251Research Methods
ARTH 6262Career Counseling and Art Therapy
ARTH 6263Ethics and Professionalism I: Principles
ARTH 6264Ethics and Professionalism II: Applications
ARTH 6265Advanced Issues in Psychotherapy and Art Therapy (taken four times for 1 credit for a total of 4 credits)
ARTH 6271Art Psychotherapy and Trauma I: Theory and Approaches to Treatment (taken for 3 credits)
ARTH 6272Art Psychotherapy and Trauma II: Loss, Countertransference, and Resiliency
ARTH 6281Practicum in Art Therapy (taken six times for 1 credit for a total of 6 credits)
ARTH 6292Special Projects in Art Therapy (taken for 1 credit)